Five Things You Need to Know Today: September 9

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Texas Wildfires Update

Estimated power restoration timeline. Credit: Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative)

Wildfires continue to scorch the Texas countryside already parched from a long, dry summer. The latest count says more than 1400 homes near Brastrop have been destroyed this week and two lives have been lost. More than 180 fires have raced across 118,000-plus acres this fire season.

Yesterday marked the two-hundred-ninety-seventh consecutive day of wildfires in Texas.

Texas Parks and Wildlife fire-fighting personnel were continuing with clean up work at Bastrop State Park yesterday (September 8), having saved almost all the historic Depression-era structures on the 6,000-acre park just east of fire-ravaged Bastrop. The number of firefighters and equipment involved has been scaled down, but personnel were still working with assorted hotspots on the park and keeping a wary eye on the wind speed as a weak cold front passed through the area.

The fire began Sunday afternoon, and through Tuesday afternoon, TPWD remained very concerned about the Civilian Conservation Corps cabins and other buildings on the park. Some firefighters worked 30 hours straight without rest or sleep in battling the blaze.
The park and nearby Buescher State Park remain closed to the public until further notice.

Note: The above information is an update from yesterday’s post, Wildfires Rage across Texas

2. Motorhome Safety Tips from Freightliner Corp

Plan ahead to avoid preventable mishaps while RVing. Tire care and maintenance are key, so begin by checking the condition of your tires, inspecting each one closely for sidewall cracks on both sides, excessive wear and cuts on the treads and sidewalls. Measure your tread depth and make sure you’re rolling on at least 4/32-inch-deep tread on the front axle tires and 2/32-inch-deep tread on the rear axle tires.

Let's Go RVing to Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check each tire’s pressure and adjust it to the manufacturer’s specified pressure per weight on each corner of the coach. Remember: All RV tire manufacturers recommend four corner weights to account for variations in weight distribution once travelers get their own belongings on board. It’s worth noting that it does not matter whether you use nitrogen or air from a compressor—tire pressure must be adjusted to the coach’s weight before traveling.

Review your chassis’ servicing records to ensure it’s not overdue for any regular maintenance.

Make sure crucial fluids are at proper levels, including engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, diesel exhaust fluid and windshield washer fluid.

3. Careless Griller Charged with RV Park Fire

A misdemeanor charge of reckless damage or destruction was filed Tuesday (September 6) against a Cibolo, Texas man accused of starting the June 19 grass fire that caused nearly $500,000 in losses to Top of the Hill RV Park and destroyed several mobile homes, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The complaint filed in justice of the peace court says Alexander J. Lopez, 33, transported live coals on Interstate 10 that fell to the ground and ignited the fire, which burned 140 acres. Alerted by other I-10 motorists as the fire burned, investigators say they stopped Lopez’s eastbound truck and found in its trailer a barbecue grill that was used at an earlier picnic and held burning embers.

4. The Phaeton

Let's Go RVing to Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Phaeton is the best-selling vehicle for Tiffin Motorhomes. The Phaeton got its name from president/founder Bob Tiffin, father of Alabama kicking legend Van. The elder Tiffin is a classic car enthusiast, and back in the day—in this case the late 1890s—the Phaeton was the cream of the crop of horseless carriages. In today’s, the four horses that powered the original could ride shotgun.

5. Proper Weight Distribution
Proper weight distribution is important when loading the RV. Each manufacturer has taken into consideration the location of appliances, cabinets, and additional components for proper weight distribution from side to side and front to back. When loading your RV, distribute heavy items evenly. They should be placed in such a way that they do not shift during travel.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

Dare to live the life you dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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